Thursday, April 28, 2011

so far so good

I realize I have been a lousy blogger. To write these horrible feelings about how scared we are and how i'm spotting and then to not even update. I am so grateful for all the messages and emails, i can't even tell you guys. that was so nice. the real reason i haven't updated is because i don't really have much to update. so far so good. i am not getting any more blood tests, my ultrasound isn't until next friday. so i'm just waiting.

i'm trying really hard to trust my body and be receptive to the clues it is passing my way. although my boobs are less sore, my nausea and exhaustion have multiplied by a thousand. although lots of people have given me some great tips to help with the nausea, i am oddly attached to it. a few days ago i woke up and felt pretty OK and then promptly got terrified that my symptoms were disappearing. so i just try and get through it, enjoy the misery because in some weird way it reminds me that everything is still working in there.

last week, when we were debating telling my family on easter hubs and I asked the universe for a sign that everything was going to be ok. shortly after that we noticed that one of the plants we potted on the spring solstice (which turned out to be the day of conception) (and even more embarassing, we put that weird "baby dust" confetti that comes when you order cheap pregnancy tests online into the soil while we were planting) was dying. Oh shit, we thought, there's our sign. But we took it down off the shelf and gave it a little water and put it in front of a window and within hours it was up and blooming.

hubs got baptized on easter (i neither instigated nor ridiculue his new conversion) and my mom got him this weird necklace that she found in an antique store. it's a whale tail charm. not really religious at all. everyone kept saying "why a whale tail?" and drawing inferences to Jonah. What they didn't know is that Jonah is the only name we ever agreed on for a boy. so we decided to take that as our sign that everything is ok in there and our son is coming.

I am still having some cramping and little bit of spotting. I was really upset and crying on last week because i was trying to get everything ready for easter and Hub's parents visit and I was so tired and i started having these really scary cramps and spotting. the most important thing, i think, is that i don't push myself and let myself be lazy right now. I'm not getting roped into any dramas right now and i'm not going to feel pressed to be "the fun one." I'm just going to relax and grow this baby. there is a ton of family drama going on right now and my grandmother is dying and Hub's grandfather just had a nasty fall and is sick. both of our familes seem to be doing a lot of bickering about the whole thing. we're just trying to stay out of it and keep calm.

my dreams have been insane lately. most of my them have been either really sexy or really weird. I do keep seeing a little chubby freckle faced girl following me around and that is really reassuring.

early on in my pregnancy I used to dream about a little boy and girl. at first i thought maybe they were the twins i nanny for, then i realized they were my own kids and got nervous it meant i was carrying twins, then i came to the realization that the girl was slightly older than the boy and perhaps the girl is the baby we lost and the boy is the baby i'm carrying right now. interesting...

last night though was the first time i saw blood in my dreams. i can barely remember what was happening, but at one point there was a bloody sac, like an oversized amneotic sac in a plastic bag in a closet, and then the next frame of the dream is my cradling a little sac and i tried to open it a little and saw a tiny baby so i stopped and knew i had to find a place to bury it.

it made me very afraid when i woke up and i called hubs crying. i'm trying to not see it as ominous though.
it kinda feels like i'm still working out my anxiety from my last pregnancy, and i'm trying to allow myself space to grieve for that baby especially as we get closer to her due date.

Lastly, i want to poitn you in the direction of an amazing blog i read this week. Katie, over at From IF to When wrote about trying to find a resolution in infertility. it was very eloquent and even reduced me to tears. She likens infertility to a cockroach infestation: you don't just kill one and know it's gone for good, there are hundreds hiding out in the walls. I won't try and dumb down her post anymore, but i strongly encourage you to read it HERE.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

meditations in an emergency

in a weird way, i'm feeling very calm. i went to acupuncture yesterday and told the guy, "screw my progesterone and my uterine bloodflow, i want you to focus on my anxiety." i know i'm not supposed to blame my losses on my anxiety, but i always do. so the acu guy stuck about a million needles in my head and face and i walked out feeling totally calm and subdued.

even when i opened the letter saying that my husband's tax refund was being forwarded to the department of education to chip away at his default students loans, i just kind of shrugged and said man that sucks. oh well. then my cousin (who shares a due date with my last pregnancy) called to ask me why i RSVPed "no" to her baby shower and i was very together and explained we had plans to go to a wedding (true story, but even if there wasn't a wedding i would have never gone to that shower). even when she got all snooty and said "i understand this is hard for you, but i really needed you to be there for me" i was able to remain relaxed and apologize. and politely hang up.

i would never have believed in acupuncture. never in a million years. but it has obviously saved my life. i'm not this even-tempered, calm girl i appear to be. it is well worth my $20 every week.

especially because i've been spotting for a solid week now. am i panicking? meh, i'm certainly not happy to see brown blood every time i wipe. but my beta is still rising and my doctor assures me that everyone spots on Crinone (the progesterone suppository) because it irritates the cervix. old me would be at the ER and demanding an ultrasound, but new me says, "what can they do at the ER for a six week pregnancy?" and lays down in bed. i haven't even moved up my ultrasound, i want to be at least 8 weeks and i'm not budging. so i have to wait to may 6th to see whats going on there. i hope the little bugger is hanging on. i hope with every fiber of my being that we'll see my little bee buzzing around in there.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

fear and hope and knowing

we walk a fine line, us infertiles; a constant balancing act between fear and hope. "I got a positive opk!" hope "but my husband is sick!" fear. "I'm pregnant!" hope "for the 4th time in 2 years..." fear. on the one hand, we want the life we've always imagined, the life that everyone else seems to get. but on the other hand, as we've learned in the years of disappointment, wanting anything is scary. hoping for a resolution, one way or the other, is scary.

so we make deals with ourselves. we say, "I'm taking a break this cycle" so our expectations will go down (after all, you can't fail if you don't try right?). we say "I'm not going to get attached to this pregnancy" because in some small way we're trying to guard our battle weary hearts. we think, I've tried the gutless, reckless, hope beyond all measure. I've bought into the whole "positivity will bring positive changes" and in the end all I had was watching the man I'd walk through fire for unable to stop crying or get out bed. in end, we had to find some way to tape together the pieces of our shredded hearts. in the end, positivity had us making a hundred phone calls to tell everyone the baby was dead because we thought maybe if we told, maybe if we had more people pulling for us, it would work out.

so the next time you take the opposite approach. instead of hope you try fear. you try not to think about the possibility of being pregnant. you resist making plans or googling your due date or joining a 2WW club. you simply go about your business. you ignore the life inside of you, you take your vitamins and talk about Dancing with the Stars. read a good book. but in the end, you're not any more or less disappointed. and in fact you feel even more cheated. I never got enjoy that baby, or being pregnant.

I've vacillated. i've walked on both sides of this spectrum. i've greeted pregnancy with overwhelming joy and overwhelming fear and simple acceptance. and none of it ever works. disappointments are always disappointing.

this pregnancy may not work out. and there is nothing i can do at this point to save this baby. there is nothing i have done or have not done.

all i can do is keep taking my progesterone and my prenatal vitamins. get lots of sleep. stay calm. love my husband.

i've decided i'm not going to get any more blood tests. they don't tell me anything and there's no answer that i find reassuring. the baby is going to make it independant of me knowing what my hcg is or if my progesterone is rising or falling. i'm doing all i can right now. i'm not going to go in and get an ultrasound at 6 weeks because frankly i don't see the point. all that will do is tell me that the baby is alive at that moment. appehensions feed off of apprehensions. if i give in to my need to see that tiny beating heart once then every day after that i'm going to wonder if it's still beating. and eventually i'll break down and ask for another ultrasound. and the cycle will just keep repeating. i don't need that kind of reassurance. i need to trust my body and my tiny baby. i need to cling to my husband and find our way out of here.

i feel in my bones that this is my take home baby. that no amount of hope or fear will have any effect on his development. that he and i are going to grow together and in eight more months i'm going to reach between my legs and catch my baby, welcome him into this world and tell him, "i knew you'd get here eventually."

Friday, April 8, 2011

progesterone / atonement

How can you be so sure something is going to work only to watch it unravel before your eyes?

There must be something horrible that I've done. There must be some awful fucking travesty that makes me deserve this. When I was in college I worked for an urban needle exchange. We passed out needles for intravenous drug use to addicts who brought in their dirty needles. A few times we'd get people who had open sores or collapsing veins and we'd have to help them find a good vein to shoot up. One time a very pregnant woman came onto the bus with an open sore on her abdomen. He veins in her arms were collapsed and she was shooting up into her pregnant belly. Instead of advising her to give up heroin (which could have been deadly for her fetus because of the horrific inutero detox) I had to show her how to inject heroin into her leg so she wouldn't continue to inject into her belly. I was young and idealistic. Scientifically it was safer for her, at that point, to continue to use rather than detox. I am haunted by this now that I've lost 3 babies and have been TTC for over two years. Am I being punished for that? For not caring about that baby? Am I being punished for being pro-choice? For not valuing in-utero lives?

Its clear that I didn't want to get a blood test because I didn't want the dream to end. And it
hasnt- YET. My hcg is not bad, 292 at 4w4d, although my ob said she would like it to be higher.

But once again my progesterone is so low it does not bode well for my pregnancy. Even my OB said she is surprised to see me pregnant with a p4 level of only 8.

So its crinone 8% suppositories twice a day until something happens. Or nothing happens. We just have to wait and see.

And pray or appeal or karmically atone. Or make peace.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

thank goddess for reasonable people

After all the HMO hullabaloo I finally broke down and called my old obgyn who first explained what a chemical pregnancy was and put me on progesterone for my last pregnancy. She was super nice and really sweet and said of course she'd write me a blood test order for hcg and progesterone. She can't do a thyroid panel because it wouldn't be covered but for the beta and p4 she can bill it as "absence of menses" instead of pregnancy so it would be gynecological instead of prenatal.

So I go tomorrow at 9am. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

what, me worry?

Hubs and I have this friend who is addicted to sympathy. No matter what you ask her or how well things are going for her, she has to tell you about the one thing that's going badly. even if it's not going badly, she'll make it sound like the worst event in human history.

Whenever we leave her house we're just emotionally drained and then we get in the car and just kind of get those nervous tension giggles. we love her and she's our friend, but sometimes it's so hard to hang out with her because we just want to shake her and say "what is your problem?!"

yesterday someone should have taken me by the shoulders and given me a good shake. i was all hormonal and weepy and tired and i totally dumped about something that was so stupid it's embarassing. of course i'm nervous about this next chapter in our lives, but i'm also confident that it will run smoothly.

the way i figure it, i spent the last month blogging about how sure i was that our baby was close, how i could feel him over my shoulder watching us and whispering in my ear. even I'm shocked that i was right. to be honest, at the time i thought i was comforting myself. but if he was such a strong presence that i could feel him before he was even conceived then how could this end badly? how could we possibly lose him?

with every other pregnancy i've ever had it seems like the minute the stick turned pink i went into hyper overdrive. it felt like i had a limited time to enjoy this and by god i was going to enjoy every single minute. now i suddenly feel like i have all the time in world... like i don't have to rush anything. and so now all the energy that i was putting into getting pregnant and staying pregnant is just hanging there like a numb limb. what can i worry about now? my friends? losing my infertile support network? whether or not these blueberries are organic? i need something to focus on, right?

so i've decided to work really hard at turning all that nervous hyperfocus into calm release. little by little i need to let go of that. I don't want to be like my friend, who always needs something negative in her life to focus on. I don't want to transfer that energy, i want to eliminate it entirely. and focus on the amazing gift i have inside of me right now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

survivor guilt

now what?

i've watched so many of my friends disappear onto the other side of infertility after their bfp. i find myself afraid of losing my friends now. i'm uncomfortable announcing that i got a bfp for 2 reasons: 1- i don't want to hurt anyone and 2- i don't want to lose anyone, especially because there's a decent chance i'll be back in a few weeks, only brokenhearted and looking for support.

a few weeks ago i wrote THIS blog about how anxious i'll feel when i get pregnant again. how it'll be a bit like freefalling. it's helpful to reread it and see how much i tried to prepare myself.

more than anything else i feel guilty. there are so many people who are on their 2nd IVF or have been trying for much longer than i was and i'm embarrassed to tell them we conceived. i feel guilty that we didn't need to go to an RE. one of my best friends on babycenter is going to stop trying when she turns 41 next month and i feel so awful that she may never get her baby that i don't even know what to say to her. so i said nothing. let my activity feed speak for itself and she'll see that i'm posting a lot on the pregnancy after loss boards and the december birth club. so cowardly. i can't believe it. how do you tell someone that you're pregnant without all the faux celebratory hoopla? how do you tell someone that you would gladly trade and give them this baby since it's their last month to conceive and you have years to keep at it, it's impossible to say that without sounding condescending. at least to me. but it's true, i would so gladly give her this pregnancy. it's her last shot. i have plenty of time. i wanted her to get this so badly.

how do i tell one of my best friend in real life who just had a miscarriage after years, almost a decade, of infertility? is it cowardly to wait months and then send her a heartfelt note when i can't possibly hide it anymore?

there's a part of me that's so excited and so thrilled and just buzzing inside. but there's another part of me that feels so guilty. because i know how it feels to see that blog update or get that email. a piercing duality of happiness and longing. you're so happy that it happened for them finally but so jealous and so sad it wasn't you. i have felt so guilty for my reactions to my friends pregnancies that's i've cried and cried over it. for them for me.

i want so badly for this to work out, but i also want so badly for it to work out for all of us. i feel guilty even writing this, like i should be telling you how much unmitigated joy i feel and it's everything i ever dreamed of. i don't want to be apprehensive. i want to go to my resolve meeting tomorrow night not to announce or discuss or get support for my pregnancy, but because those women are my friends and i care about them and i want to hear about how their treatment cycle went and what their next step is. because i want to be there to support them. because if i lose my infertile friends i will seriously be on my own here with no friends at all. and that is terrifying.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The most amazingly wonderful thing has happened; we have conceived on our own. It's almost unbelievable considering that in January my evil RE told me I had diminished ovarian reserve and was hypothyroid and have low progesterone and would not get and stay pregnant without help. But I did. So what now?

I am paralyzed. Afraid that breathing will end this. In the past, I was on the phone with my ob as soon as the stick turned pink for bloodwork. Hcg count, p4, thyroid panel. I needed to know these things to make the pregnancy stick. Then last September everything looked good, I was on progesterone, we were playing defense! This time it would work! Only then it didn't. We did everything we could medically do to protect that pregnancy and it didn't work.

So now, to my total shock, I have the overwhelming urge to do nothing. No blood test, no ultrasound, no progesterone, nothing. Take my prenatals and go about my business. Stay as calm as I can and feign amnesia. I'm just a normal pregnant woman, nothing can go wrong.

After a discussion with my mom and my husband, they urged me to get at least my progesterone checked. Its an easy thing to fix. So I said I would get a thyroid panel and a p4.

This is so not like me. I'm pushy! Proactive! I always thought I'd get pregnant again and immediately go into a panic, but something weird has happened. I feel strangely calm. Lackadaisical even. Is it the acupuncture I've been getting for my anxiety? Can acupuncture really produce results like this? A total personality overhaul? I was going twice a week for the last 3 months. Its hard to believe it works this well.

Now, adding to my own "fear of acting" I have to grapple with our HMO. Who can I call for bloodwork? The new RE? The old RE? My midwife from my last pregnancy? My gyn? I'm drowning in doctors here and its like Russian roulette to try and figure out which one will be covered.

Well, after calling around this morning it turns out that none of them are. My HMO won't cover infertility treatment with an RE since we conceived in an unmedicated cycle. My midwife won't run that kind of bloodwork without discussing it with a specialist who deems it necessary (which my new RE won't because she hasn't started treating me yet). My old gyn won't see me for prenatal because I'm under the care of a midwife for prenatal.

Around and around and around we go. And no one will monitor this pregnancy and I don't have the energy to figure this puzzle out.

So I can't tell you what's going to happen, or what my beta was. I can't tell you anything except thank you. Thank you all so much for all the support you're showing me. I feel like you guys are holding me up right now and pushing me forward. I feel your strength and goodwill and its keeping me sane. So thank you all and please bear with me.

still checking my horoscope

...don't worry, I think its a good one.

Capricorn Apr 4 2011
Some people believe that heaven and hell are both here on earth. In your life now, Capricorn, you could aptly demonstrate this philosophy. If you were to draw a line on a piece of paper, and divide up the good things and the bad things in your life, you could get a tangible sense of how much you have to worry about, and also how much you have to be amazingly thankful for. A lot is happening in your life now. By glorifying all the wonder, joy, and good fortune that is manifesting for you, you can actually minimize and drain the power from some of the more negative things. Give it a try.
Copyright (c) DailyHoroscope.
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Capricorn Apr 6 2011
Start planning now on telling yourself a sweet bedtime story before you go to sleep tonight. Make sure it's a happy tale; one that involves a new beginning, a bit of enchantment, and a happily ever after. You need to hear something sweet and inspiring now, and you need to open up your mind to the possibility of magic. The cold, cruel world may have rendered you a bit skeptical recently, so it would be wise to retreat to the open-minded, vulnerable world of childhood dreams and stories. Not just to restore your faith, but to prepare you for a beautiful fantasy that is about to unfold in your life.
Copyright (c) DailyHoroscope.
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

holy shit pt2

I am not going to jinx it. I am not going to jinx it. I am not going to jinx it. I am not going to jinx it. I am not going to jinx it I am not going to jinx it. I am not going to jinx it.

... double pink lines!!!!!!!

There you were, and it was like spring

(a poem by Mary Oliver)

There you were, and it was like spring--like the first fair water with the light on it, hitting the eyes. Why are we made the way we are made, that to love is to want? Well, you are gone now, and this morning I have walked out to the back shore, to the ocean which, even if we think we have measured it, has no final measure. Sometimes you can see the great whales there, breaching and playing. Sometimes the swans linger just long enough for us to be astonished. Then they lift their wings, they become again a part of the untouchable clouds.

holy shit

Its official, everyone in the world can get pregnant but us.
My mentally handicapped cousin just knocked up his borderline mentally handicapped girlfriend who already has a nine month old by someone else. I'm not being mean, they are both literally handicapped.

She has had no prenatal care, not a single prenatal vitamin, and spent the last three months "just hoping it would go away." Her baby of course is fine and healthy.

Holy canoli. There is no god.